How do you test digital advertising effectively and ensure its positive impact before it goes online? In this webinar, we explored how PepsiCo was able to address the challenge head-on.

Challenges of digital ad testing

With the rise of digital, four pieces of content to test each year has become 4000 and an eight-month development time is now eight days. Interestingly, insights budgets remain the same.

Gathering consumer feedback on a piece of digital content matching the pace of today’s environment is the challenge explored in this webinar. Lauryl Schraedly, Jared Carr, and Ryan Barry (PepsiCo, Kantar Millward Brown and ZappiStore) discuss how Gatorade were able to systematically improve their online video performance using LinkNow for Digital; an automated solution leveraging Kantar Millward Brown’s Link methodology in its survey design, combined with in-context behavioral metrics on Facebook, YouTube, and mobile.

They discussed:

  • How can you ensure consistent brand messaging across all digital platforms?
  • How can you test at a speed aligned with the new pace of content generation?
  • How can you ensure a return on research investments?

What did PepsiCo do?

Kantar Millward Brown teamed up with ZappiStore to automate the manual processes typically involved in testing digital ad effectiveness. This allowed Lauryl and her team to get results in a matter of hours (some as fast as three hours). The rapid delivery of feedback meant that the insights team could join the table alongside the digital team and creative agency in order to help shape campaigns – each with the consumer at heart and in mind.

For Gatorade, automation unlocked the speed and cost benefits of technology, while the methodological design from Kantar Millward Brown ensured quality and validated insights. The result was a tool with a genuine impact towards the way digital pre-testing was done at PepsiCo.

However, it did not stop there. This tool enabled Lauryl and Kantar Millward Brown to affect change, not only to the approach to testing digital content but also to the kind of insights generated.

By reducing the cost and time investment needed to test a single ad, Lauryl was able to test multiple ads, across different platforms, at speed, with in-context behavioural metrics (such as clicks and engagement). This volume testing permitted Lauryl and Kantar Millward Brown to provide PepsiCo’s wider team with creative guardrails on different platforms to help steer the development of future creatives.

A couple of years ago, any digital testing was based on in-market performance of ads; it was more of a summary of how it performed. We (the insights team) were not really a part of that upfront conversation. Having a tool to pre-test at a speed of hours, combining in-context behavioural metrics with validated survey responses, has not only given us an effective way to pre-test digital content, it has also brought together our entire digital team, communications team, agency, and insights. Going further, with the meta-analysis we run on batches of these results, we are even able to give the teams creative guardrails which can effectively inspire the creation of future creatives with the consumer in mind and at heart – Lauryl Schraedy

What this meant for the researchers

Jared also talks about how the tool enables Kantar Millward Brown to consult in a different way – a more valuable way. Instead of providing data and PowerPoints, clearer focus is on the client’s team through more upstream advice and informed recommendations (regarding campaigns and campaign investments), based on the trends seen in their survey responses.

This tool pushes the value of Kantar Millward Brown’s core competency, which is our best in class understanding of advertising effectiveness and brings it into the fast-paced world of digital and multiple platform testing. The automation allows us to use our brains and time better, in a more valuable way for the client. – Jared Carr

See the presentation SlideShare

LinkNow for Digital is a digital ad research tool from Kantar Millward Brown for testing video or static creatives, with results delivered in a matter of hours. You can learn more about the tool and how our clients have used it to create winning campaigns on

Daniel Evans

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Daniel Evans

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